Sunday, January 22, 2012

Learning to felt

There is a great little shop on South Padre Island, Texas called the Art Space.  It's an Artist ran shop with room for members to do their work and sell their wares but the part that I really like is that they bring in all kinds of instructors and teach a huge variety of different art related classes.   South Padre Island Art Space Yesterday I took a class from Nancy Algrim, owner of the Black Iris in Mission, Texas and a fiber artist extraordinaire.  Here is a link to her web site.

Nancy was incredibly generous with her time and supplies and we made three different felting projects.  First was felt beads, then we made a Nuno scarf and finally shaped the wool into a felt flower and embellished it with some beading.

Here is a link to if you want to learn more about it.  I found it very interesting learning how to make the felt fabric and have it turn out so thin and drapy when traditionally felt is thick and stiff.  There is a real technique to the laying on of the fibers and the agitation to get the felt to turn out just right. I'm not sure I have mastered it but I brought a few ounces of wool roving home so I can try it again.

I loved handling the wool, it brought back so many memories for me.  Back in the 90's I had a couple spinning wheels and was making scarves on a big loom with my hand spun wool.  I loved working with mohair and angora so got my self about 50 Angora rabbits and one big, mean Angora goat.  That was all a life time ago but the fiber covering the table yesterday made me think fond memories about that time.

I love learning new crafts and the artists that teach them are so generous with their time and usually don't mind sharing their skills.  I get to dabble in so many different mediums that way and benefit from all the years of practice and often expensive education that the instructors had to endure to learn to master the craft.

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